Friday, December 2, 2011

Menagerie of News and Art and Things You Should Know

The end-of-semester rush has been keeping me from much activity on the blog lately, but this month I have been collecting things here and there that are thought-provoking or shocking or awesome, so here you are!
From L. Weingarten's "A Series of Questions" Project
  • L. Weingarten's incredible photo project "A Series of Questions" that one of my students shared. L.'s project "explores the power dynamics inherent in the questions asked of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people," according to their website. 
  • And no, the bullet above does not have incorrect grammar in its last sentence...through talks with lots of people, there seems to be a sort of consensus forming that gender-neutral pronouns like "ze" and "hir" are not catching on as well as we'd like. But using "they" and "their" as a gender-neutral way to refer to individuals is not too far off from our linguistic conventions. So let's go for it!
  • Morgan tipped me off to the work of Jeff Sheng, who has done photographic projects on out and proud LGBT athletes as well as queer men and women in the military.  
  • Harvard University is stepping up to the plate in multiple ways. This spring the Dean of the College established a full-time Director of BGLTQ Life position along with office and lounge spaces; the undergraduate admissions office is considering adding a question on its application to allow LGBTQ prospective students to self-identify if they so choose; and starting in 2012, the university will begin to cover bottom surgery for the transgender students, faculty and staff who opt for it.
  • In contrast, Shorter University in Georgia is moving backwards. The school is now requiring employees--both current and future hires--to sign a "Personal Lifestyle Statement" in which they must explicitly reject homosexuality. Those who do not sign will be fired. This would be illegal in other states that have protections against discriminatory hiring practices on the basis of sexual orientation. But in Georgia it is totally legal.


  1. Thanks for sharing! The photo projects were great distractions from this paper - and SO powerful.

  2. Yeah, I especially love L. Weingarten's work. They will be working on this project for the next few years--I can't wait to see the full body of work!